From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
While it might not sound like something major or earth-shattering, music playing in a locker room while players are sitting around or just getting ready isn’t uncommon.
But not in the Steelers locker room.
And there was a reason why.
Ben Roethlisberger asked guys not to play it because late Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney Sr. would often walk in, and when he spoke to the players in his soft tone, Roethlisberger wanted to make sure everyone could hear every word he said.
“It was always Mr. Rooney, Mr. Dan. I don’t know why, it was just always that way. I think as guys started to leave the locker room that tradition of history, I tried to keep it going, Brett Keisel kept it going, (Maurkice) Pouncey. I always told guys, because people would play music, new guys would come in and play music. I would shut it down. I was the grumpy old man that didn’t want music. I had a conversation with guys like Cam Heyward and Vince Williams and told him the reason that we don’t do it is because I always wanted if Mr. Rooney came in the locker room, you wanted to listen to him. You wanted to hear the things he had to say. Whether it was about Steelers or about life. About whatever.
“He was like a grandfather to all of us and so much love for him. Obviously as new guys came in and Mr. Rooney wasn’t around, they don’t understand that quite as much, so we tried to pass it on. Even after he passed, I tried to tell guys I still wait for him to walk through that door to come talk. And you just want to listen to him because he was so soft spoken, but it was so wise.
“So that was always my thing of why I didn’t want the music because you never had it when he was around. I wanted to carry that on and the last couple of years I just kind of relented. I’ll stop being the grumpy guy and if they want to listen to music, they can listen to music.”
Roethlisberger said he had no problem understanding traditions like that when he was drafted by the Steelers, a lot of it due to the respect […]
“Had the opportunity to meet and interact with this Cincinnati police officer. Was a very nice guy and very courteous. Caught this private moment when Big Ben came over at the end of the game and had a private conversation with him. Great seeing these interactions.” — Sports photographer Ed Thompson.
“Not a lot to be said. I didn’t ask coach one time to come out because there’s a Steeler way and it’s fighting to the end. Games like this show a lot down the stretch…it shows a lot about a team’s character, their will, their heart, and when you’re down a bazillion points at the end of the game, do guys quit? Do they stop fighting? Do they give up a little bit, or do they continue to fight and fight for each other? And I thought for the most part, we did that. Guys showed their character ’til the end of the game. Who continued to fight, who continued to get extra yards? I mean Pat takes a crazy hit to the head. People will ask why? But it shows his heart and his character…and a lot of other guys – I thought Diontae did, the line up front, I thought a lot of guys did that. Games like this are when that’s revealed.” — Ben.
“Images from Thanksgiving morning Steelers practice on the South Side. Saw Big Ben helping the TE core early in practice before they went to team O. Great seeing him teaching the younger players. Refreshing.” — Sports photographer Ed Thompson sharing with us.
From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
The Steelers offense cut into a 17-point deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night, and while Ben Roethlisberger liked some of what he saw from the unit, he would trade it in a heartbeat for a win.
The Steelers scored 27 fourth quarter points, and multiple times came right back and answered when the Chargers scored, but still came up short.
“We finally were able to put some points on the board. I don’t know our stats in terms of third down conversions and things like that, but there are some encouraging things to be found from that game. Unfortunately, you don’t win. That’s the worst part. We would take a win and crappy offense over a great offense and not win. There’s some things we can grow on I think.”
Roethlisberger, who just came off the COVID list in time to play, had a strong showing completing 28 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns, utilizing eight different targets.
“A lot of people got involved. We had a lot of different guys catch touchdowns. We did a little bit of a no-huddle type thing. For the line to be able to for the first time really do that. Tell them protections and then do it. Being able to move the ball and also answer scores. I think that’s such a big and underrated deal in the NFL. When you can answer a touchdown or a score, I think that’s huge. I think we did that a few times.”
The Steelers haven’t used the no-huddle as much this year as they have in the past, and Roethlisberger liked the way it worked out for them, changing the tempo which helped keep the defense off balance.
“You’re able to pick the tempo up. You’re able to kind of dictate what the defense is doing a little bit, or keep them plain. I think that was good. I think communication, especially on the road where it was loud. There were a lot of Steelers fans there. It was loud. We were able to communicate, and I think things went pretty well there.”
You can watch video of Ben’s interview here.
Ben Roethlisberger isn’t gone, not yet anyway, but he wasn’t available for the Steelers in last week’s game against Detroit, which ended in a frustrating 16-16 tie. The Steelers didn’t know whether Roethlisberger would be available this week until he passed through the COVID protocol early Saturday morning and thus was cleared to join the team in Los Angeles and play Sunday night against the Chargers.
And what a game Roethlisberger played. Without the benefit of any practice, Roethlisberger completed 28-of-44 (63.6 percent) for 273 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 103.7. But beyond the numbers, it was when they were achieved that was noteworthy.
With the Steelers trailing, 27-10, at the start of the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger led the team to 27 points over the final 15 minutes, and he passed for 101 yards and two touchdowns during that span. On a night when the Steelers defense allowed 41 points, 533 total net yards of offense, and 7.7 yards per offensive play, Roethlisberger not only gave the Steelers a chance to win, but he had the team in the lead 37-34, with 3:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Roethlisberger is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week. — Bob Labriola, Steelers.com.